Month: March 2013

We are all broken

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This is for the people who were bullied by others for being overweight, for the ones who preferred sitting in a corner huddled over a book oblivious to the looks of disdain given by others for being a loner, for the girls who cried in the toilet after getting embarrassed in public.

This is for the people who gave their heart away and saw it being shattered just because their skin’s not white enough and their hair’s not silky enough.

“We are all broken.”

Some of us are more broken than others. Some of us have cracks, while others pretend to be whole, when in reality they’re made of two layers, the outer one may seem perfect, but it perfectly hides the cracks inside.

Yet they speak and they scream and they bark at others to accept how “flawless” they are, while meanwhile pointing out other people’s faults.
And the problem is they see the faults without the merits so they talk about those faults, over and over and over again, when in reality the merits that co-exist with the faults are what makes them beautiful, what makes them balanced, whole, complete….or in one word, human.

Faults humble us, they tell us we are not perfect, and that we will never be close to perfection.

“We are all broken.”

And the best people are the ones who accept their flaws, and not those who hide them and put others down,pointing out their flaws and faults so they will feel better themselves.
In the end remember that if you put a source of light on the other side of opaque blinds, the only way for the light to shine through is if they were cracked open.

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Photo Credit: TBJordan1 on Flickr

Waiting

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They tell me I should be jealous
Jealous of the woman waiting
By the window for her husband to return
The food turning cold
As hunger claws her stomach

They tell me I should be jealous
Jealous of the woman waiting
By the TV for his leave to be approved
So they could travel to golden sands
Smoothened by the crashing waves

They tell me I should be jealous
Jealous of the woman waiting
For her phone to ring with his tone
Or the TV to be switched off
So she could get his attention
Before he turns on his playstation

They tell me I should be jealous
Jealous of the woman waiting
Waiting to be happy
Waiting to be listened to
Waiting
For her life to begin

Photo under Creative Commons license by Anastas Tarpanov

Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

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While a lot of extroverts can’t imagine how introverts live a life of seclusion, a lot of introverts can’t imagine the lives of extroverts. In the middle of the noise, the lights, the boisterous chatter and socializing, when do they find time to sit, relax and reflect on their lives. Does any of the extroverts keep a diary, to capture their thoughts, their ideas, their stream of consciousness as they try to understand what’s going on around them? Or maybe they don’t even bother to take that pause, instead deciding to wade through the stream of life continuously, searching for the action and the extra stimulants in terms of noise and light to fill their understimulated brains.

A lot of people have come and gone in my life, but the white page has been something that has given me company for the longest time ever. It was there to absorb the anger, the hope, the pain and the anticipation. It sometimes happens when you find yourself so sure of someone in your life, thinking that they’ll always be there for you, only to watch them fade away with time. You may still be able to run into them, you may still be able to recognize them, but you might not be able to trust them anymore. And that’s when the journal beckons you to sit down, and tell it everything, what happened? Why it happened? How you feel about it?

And as you empty your emotions within its pristine pages – some of them scribbles so¬†unintelligible, you might not even be able to read it yourself – you start understanding things that didn’t make sense when the pieces were all still in your head. You needed to write them down, put them on paper, give the a tangible form, so you could play with them and later arrange them like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to complete the picture.

So yeah, some people might not be able to know what to do with a journal filled with empty pages. But the most obvious thing is to fill it, with your past, your present and your hopes for the future.

My current journal
My current journal

A Nation of Potatoes

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viazi via karai, Image via http://www.fauziaskitchenfun.com/
viazi via karai, Image via http://www.fauziaskitchenfun.com/

If you’re a true Mombasa-ian and you’re listening to Radio Rahma then you’ll know that one of the most important segments that is aired -other than the obituaries- is the one where a disembodied voice states the prices of potatoes. Because let’s admit it, potato forms the center of the Swahili cuisine as people are so creative with the recipes revolving around it.

Let’s take for example, viazi via rojo, viazi via karai, cutlessi, even the curry that goes with the rice should have potatoes.

So it is needless to state that potatoes are important in our society. Yet they’re part of the reason why obesity is becoming rampant in Mombasa. The thing is, food brings people together. Whether it’s a wedding or a funeral, a lot of people count down the time until food will be served. And when someone visits, social protocol dictates that people should offer them something to eat. The problem is, some people don’t understand the phrase, “I’m full.” They keep on adding stuff onto your plate until buttons start to pop and you wake up the next morning hugging your stomach asking yourself, “What did I do to myself?”

With obesity comes all the dangers of heart disease and type 2 diabetes (Allah y3afeena wa iyyakum), and despite that society tells you that if a man loses weight after marriage then his wife “ywamtesa” (she’s making him suffer), maybe because her cooking is horrible, or she doesn’t even cook. And to love one’s children usually means to throw into the shopping trolley whatever chocolates, chips and soft drinks they ask for when one goes to Nakumatt (or Carrefor).

But that’s not love. Setting them up for a lifetime of unhealthiness is definitely not love. To love one’s child is to teach them how to eat healthy and how to control their portions. Schools will not teach them – or even if they do teach the theory – the practical lesson needs to be reinforced at home.

The whole potato cuisine might have worked in the past because people were physically active. People in the past used to walk miles to get to school every day. But nowadays there are cars and buses, and playsations and computers to minimize the level of physical activity so if the calories burnt are reduced, the calories taken in should also automatically be reduced.

But is that the case?

Think about it.